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Opinions - to shoe or not to shoe???? Update - Pics Page 3!

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  • Opinions - to shoe or not to shoe???? Update - Pics Page 3!

    I know this is opening a can of worms, but I really need some guidance here.

    I have a 6 1/2 year old pony who has a nasty little stone bruise on the LF. Two vets have advised that it is indeed a stone bruise, and put him on "rest" and 2g bute/day for two weeks. They have both also broached the subject of perhaps shoeing him up front.

    He's been barefoot his entire life, he has gorgeous dinner plate feet. It pains me to even THINK about putting shoes on him. But he's been not quite right on the LF for a month or two, and I am almost certain the shoes will help him.

    My "farrier" is a barefoot trimmer. She sold me a pair of hoof boots back in October. They are the Swiss Hoof boots and they are clunky and stupid. He can get them off - despite being properly fitted by her - within 10 minutes in turnout when he rolls.

    So because she only trims, I have to find a farrier. I'm just having a really tough time doing this, although I know if I want him to be comfortable and IN WORK anytime soon he will need shoes.
    Last edited by joharavhf; Mar. 28, 2009, 07:16 PM.

  • #2
    You'll never know unless you try.

    And you know also that if you're not happy with the shoes, you can always take them off again.

    By the way, what are "dinner plate" feet?

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, here's my opinion and I'm not a farrier, vet, trimmer, or nothing like that...just an owner. Putting shoes on a horse doesn't instantly turn their hooves to garbage. That's agenda nonsense. My suggestion is to get shoes on him to make him comfortable for the next 6-12 weeks, maybe less, maybe more. Once he gets over the stone bruise, pull the shoes. No big deal. I had a mare of mine founder years ago. She could barely stand, let alone walk. My farrier came up and though it was probably torture and inhumane, we put shoes on her with leather pads. She fought like a maniac with each nail being driven but when it was all over, she could walk. Getting those soles off the ground will often grant instant comfort.

      For what it's worth, all 6 of my horses are barefoot and stay that way for the most part. However, if I have an issue and they require shoes I don't even think twice about it. I do whatever will make the horse comfortable.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LarkspurCO View Post

        By the way, what are "dinner plate" feet?
        Huge hooves. I have a gelding with dinner plate feet. If you just looked at him, you'd think he had bad flares. Until you look at the bottom of his feet and see that those walls don't flare at all. He just has huge, massive hooves. They are gorgeous

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by jaimebaker View Post
          Huge hooves. I have a gelding with dinner plate feet. If you just looked at him, you'd think he had bad flares. Until you look at the bottom of his feet and see that those walls don't flare at all. He just has huge, massive hooves. They are gorgeous

          Yep. I have been waiting all my life to have a horse with feet like this. They are large, strong and symmetrical. Soooo nice!!!! My old guy Dancer had "good" feet but this inside walls were so vertical - no flare - it was strange. My mare has the tiniest hardest feet you have ever seen. I wish the darn thing would look to have NORMAL horse feet instead of baby feet. Nothing "wrong" with her, per se, just that her feet aren't dinner platish.

          Comment


          • #6
            if itsd a welsh cob you taking about then they dont have dinner plates for feet
            shires and the bigger horses do but not welsh cobs
            if hes a pony and got dinner plates sound like you feet are very long and over grown get thee to a farrier and have him properly accessed
            welshie are known for there surefootedness and often dont need shoes but you have to tkae care of the foot for whatever it needs and a trimmer that trims once in a while isnt good enough
            Last edited by goeslikestink; Mar. 27, 2009, 05:23 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by joharavhf View Post
              . . . although I know if I want him to be comfortable and IN WORK anytime soon he will need shoes.
              If you "know" this, why do you need to discuss the situation? Almost seems like you are suffering anguish over putting shoes on a horse.

              Comment


              • #8
                I just have to wonder about any trimmer using Swiss hoof boots-sounds like she is a little behind the trims in equipment-perhaps there are some issues with the trim as well?

                I would assess the trim-have another professional or 2 (of 3000 on COTH) give you feedback.

                IF the trim is off, *I* would address that first.

                *I* would also try any of the other hoof boots that are light years ahead of the ones you have.

                THEN if things are still bad I would look at shoes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think if you put front shoes on him, it will help the stone bruise heal faster. They can stay on for 6-8 weeks depending on how short his feet are. And I assure you, when you pull the shoes off again, his feet will still be pretty hard. All of your barefoot work will not go down the drain! My horses go through these cycles every year and they are shod for more than one shoeing. When we pull the shoes off, some are a little tender for a few days and the others aren't. And if you pony has good feet, I am pretty confident he will do just fine.

                  I don't blame you for not wanting to put shoes on him...he's a pony and most ponies don't need and shouldn't wear shoes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well I was in a similar situation and had my horse shod yesterday. I will update after I ride today, but here's my take on it.

                    I was a bit heartbroken about shoeing him. He was barefoot for 1.5 years and it was hard work getting him there. His feet (on the exterior) had FINALLY looked "perfect" in my eyes. But the up/down soreness and recent lameness issues, and advice of vet had me reconsider.

                    It is OKAY to shoe your horse! Shoe, wait until your pony is comfy and then you can remove them. And here's something my trainer said to me (keep in mind she is quite the barefoot proponent and helped me considerably getting my horse barefoot)....she said....

                    "Did you buy a horse to have him barefoot? Or did you buy a horse to ride and enjoy?"

                    That really hit home with me. More importantly, I want him to be comfortable which I now think he is.

                    I would shoe the pony and you might just like it better!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm at a loss to understand why you don't want to do what the pony requires.

                      He's got a bruise. He's unsound and in pain.

                      Get him what he needs to protect his feet.

                      You assert he's got great feet, well then IF that is the case as soon as his bruise is heeled he'll be better.

                      However I'm in doubt about what you assert. A Welsh Cob with dinner plate feet???? I'd personally be a pretty worried if any of my Welsh Cobs had dinner plate feet! They don't and they shouldn't have. I'm wondering if your description just means something different to what I'd mean if I said feet like "dinner plates" .

                      I'd mean big round flat splayed feet. For sure they shouldn't be like that.

                      I'm also thinking though that there's more to this than you suggest. Why did your trimmer sell you boots last October???? Seems to me that must have been for a reason. Why were you putting him in boots just for turnout??? That wouldn't be the norm for a welsh cob with good feet that were so good they didn't need protection. It's not congruent.

                      So it seems you've had your trimmer advise you the horse needs protection (just for turnout?!) and sell you boots and not one, but two vets tell you the horse needs protection and to consider shoeing up front.

                      Obviously your trimmer couldn't provide shoes but she did provide boots - they've not worked and now you have a horse that is unsound and with a bruise so severe that he's on bute.

                      You say it pains you to think about getting shoes on him. Erm why???

                      In the meantime he's in REAL pain whilst you're pontificating!

                      I don't what the heck you think is going to happen that is detrimental just because you have him shod to allow his foot to recover. I've a mass of welsh ponies (all Sections). They're in and out of shoes as and when they need it.

                      Do the right thing and stop pontificating and get him what he needs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If he has great walls on him, and some depth to his sole, I'd try Vettec's Sole Guard. I've had great luck with it. It'll stay in for three weeks or so, depending on conditions, and it really offers the best of both- barefoot horse- with protection. Your trimmer should be able to put it in. If you do it yourself, you should invest in the lovely "caulk gun" that they sell, and bear in mind that you might have to try it a couple of times to get it exactly right.
                        When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
                        www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
                        http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Those of you advocating shoes for a diagnosed bruise, would you also recommend putting shoes on for an abcess?

                          I don't understand why 1) bute was recommended for a bruise, or 2) why shoes would be considered for a bruise, unless it was SO serious and the horse SO lame that he would benefit from a full set of pads and shoes to protect a thin sole.

                          If it were me, I wouldn't bute, would turn the horse out on soft footing, and let the bruise heal. I'd stall only if the horse was SO lame that movement was compromising his supporting leg and his body. No soaking.

                          I too would question the Swiss Boots. I'd be looking at something like Old Mac or one of the Easy Boot models (there are lots now). And even then I'd look at those carefully, as too long spent in them could cause some moisture issues which you really would like to avoid with a bruise - don't want the sole any softer than necessary.
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm trying to decide the same thing at the moment. Although my horse is not off, no bruises or what have you, I'm wondering if I should shoe her to give her the protection she needs for the demands I place on her.

                            She's barefoot, has been all but 14 weeks of her 8 years. The time I did have front shoes put on her, they really changed her hoof shape. It took over a year to get her "normal" hoof back to the way it was prior to the shoes.

                            However, I don't believe it was the shoes that caused the changes......more likely their application. I'm consulting with a highly recommended farrier tomorrow to see what he thinks would be best for my horse given the demands I place on her.

                            If your horse needs the protection of shoes......I say do it. Just make sure you have a very, very good farrier who pays close attention to the hoof balance.
                            http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                            http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm not anywhere near an expert but I do trim all 8 of my own horses and they are all doing very well so I'll add my bit of advice. What did the vet say about the way the horse is trimmed? Do you think the trim is correct for the horse? I don't like boots for turnout. Maybe the new glue-ons from Easyboot might work, but I've never had any luck with keeping a boot on in turnout. How about re-assessing the trim to make sure it is right for your horse and maybe trying a full equicast to protect the sole while it heals? I just did this for one of my horses who managed to get a small stone rammed up under his coffin bone. He had surgery to get it out and a cast. The vet recommended a shoe and pad when the cast came off, but I trim him myself, so I wanted a solution that I could do myself. Plus, this horse had a history of yanking shoes and yanking hoof off with them. I emailed Dave about it and he thought a full equicast would work and my vet agreed. The cast was easy to apply, stayed on in full turnout for 4 weeks (and we had MUD out the wazoo at that time) and then I replaced it. After another 4 weeks the sole looked very good and my boy went back to barefoot.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would...

                                Xray the feet, measure sole depth and look at the joint alignments, m/l balance.

                                Then I'd shoe with impression material to support the caudal portion of the hoof capsule.

                                I would reset the shoes religiously every 4 weeks and do this for 4 - 6 applications. Less if you can.

                                Then take shoes off, xray the feet and see if you can stay barefoot.

                                My shoe of choice is the Epona, along with their impression material and anti-bacterial granules.

                                Ground Control might be another choice, for the hinds anyway.

                                Good Luck, experimentation is the key, see what works for your horse.

                                Regards,

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by JB View Post
                                  Those of you advocating shoes for a diagnosed bruise, would you also recommend putting shoes on for an abcess?
                                  JB:

                                  I am with you on the Bute thing and "rest" means what stall rest or not ridden?

                                  Anyhoo... if someone is recommending boots for turnout that means the horse is more than likely thin soled and not getting what it needs for protection.

                                  Using shoes combined with a physiologically correct trim, the horse could be hoof healthy pretty quick.

                                  I'm also with Thomas on the whole dinner plate thing. When someone says that to me I think flared not correctly trimmed hooves.

                                  If you dare OP, share pix. I'm guessing your trimmer is a Jamie Jackson person if they are using the Swiss Boots and oh yeah those are so outdated. How long has your trimmer been working professionally on horses feet?

                                  Pix Pix Pix

                                  Kim

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    You live in NH and you want to event - put a set of regular front shoes on him. he may be able to go barefoot behind for quite a while longer - I had a Training level horse who never wore hind shoes.

                                    Shoes may not really help the bruise heal faster but it will help him feel better faster - because he's no longer walking on the bruise.

                                    Bute will help him feel better because of the anti-inflammatory properties.

                                    I also thought "dinner plate feet' meant big wide flat feet- which are not desirable. I'm guess Buck has nice BIG feet.

                                    If he does have flat soles though, he really should wear shoes.

                                    I pull Star's shoes every fall and she has the winter to be barefoot but while she has good feet, they aren't good enough to be barefoot and event in the land of rocks.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                                      Those of you advocating shoes for a diagnosed bruise, would you also recommend putting shoes on for an abcess?
                                      Yes. If the abcess is opened to drian at the wall/sole junction, a farrier can forge a relief bubble in the shoe to provide a place to pack some cotton and drawing salve over the drain opening - a mere pinprick size hole is usually enough to establish drainage. The shoe stabilizes the wall and provides ground clearance for the sole while the hoof recovers from the abcess.

                                      I don't understand why 1) bute was recommended for a bruise, or 2) why shoes would be considered for a bruise, unless it was SO serious and the horse SO lame that he would benefit from a full set of pads and shoes to protect a thin sole.
                                      Sometimes just having the ground clearance for the sole provided by a shoe is enough protection. Sometimes pads are required.

                                      If it were me, I wouldn't bute, would turn the horse out on soft footing, and let the bruise heal. I'd stall only if the horse was SO lame that movement was compromising his supporting leg and his body. No soaking.
                                      Sounds like you would avoid considering shoes as an option.

                                      I too would question the Swiss Boots. I'd be looking at something like Old Mac or one of the Easy Boot models (there are lots now). And even then I'd look at those carefully, as too long spent in them could cause some moisture issues which you really would like to avoid with a bruise - don't want the sole any softer than necessary.
                                      I've been known to turn my nose up at certain brands of horseshoes. If push comes to shove, I might get "desperate" and put some bar stock in the fire and cook up something from scratch for a specific application.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        "Farriers" shoe horses, trimmers are not farriers.

                                        *Proper* shoeing will instantly protect the edge of the coffin bone and outer sole from further bruising (usually where bruises occur) so the pony can get back to turn out and work while healing.
                                        Proper shoeing does no harm to a horses hoof.
                                        That said, if you want to boot instead of shoeing, there are much better boots on the market now than the ones you have. Go to Easycare inc and look. There is tons of information about different boots, fitting FAQs, charts for ease of application, tread patterns etc.

                                        The brand new easy boot "glove" is looking promising.
                                        It has no buckles, just one soft wide pastern strap, and a nice compact stretchy fit.
                                        One trimmer here is selling them and the feedback he has gotten so far has been positive. They need to be fit EXACTLY though, because there are nine sizes,very close in measurements, and the feet trimmed frequently so the fit does not change.
                                        Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                                        Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                                        www.hoofcareonline.com

                                        Comment

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